Because it’s Friday, you are obliged to watch a video of new Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly trying, and failing, to catch a pass from a robot quarterback:
Kelly was scouting the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department’s Robot Combine this week in advance of tonight’s second annual Robotics Football Game, featuring such mecha-stars as Robocinco, Knowshon Morebot, Freshman Year Jimmy Clausen, an elite receiving corps of Infinity and Beyond, and a lineman who pumps out music from a built-in iPod and speakers. You can watch a live stream here after robot kickoff at 7 p.m. ET.
The event was inspired by former ND student Brian Hederman, who had drawn sketches of robot football players before his untimely death in 1995. His vision may or may not have included a 2’5" quarterback that runs a six-flat 40, but the research behind the designs is aimed less at gridiron success than at advancing intelligent prostheses for amputees. As far as football goes, the effect is something like electric football* meets "Battle Bots," except with accurate passing and hot coeds. (Well, you know, "engineering hot." But they’re into building machines that hurl projectiles to no practical end, which evens things out considerably.) Like robot soccer players, it may be crude now, but it always pays to stay in the good graces of your future robot overlords.
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* For those of you under 30: Electric football was even more awesome than it sounds, for like 20 seconds.